An eleven-year-old girl from Fairmont Hot Springs, Tiffany Cruz, has been awarded a gold medal by The Royal Conservatory for scoring the top mark in British Columbia on the Grade 1 Piano examination.
I am very proud of her. She worked very, very hard. Every single week she practised, a lot, said Tiffanys piano teacher, Tanya Dubois.
Tiffany has gone through the Music for Young Children Program. Starting four years ago as a beginner, she has made it through three different levels of classes to get to where she is now. Tiffany practices three to six times a week and wants to take up other instruments in the future like the guitar. She says she doesnt come from a musical family, but that hasnt seemed to hinder her abilities at all.
In fact, she scored a 98 per cent on the Grade 1 examinations, a score that seemed to surprise both her and her piano teacher, Tanya Dubois. When asked, Tiffany said I was very surprised! I didnt think I would actually get it.
Jeff Embleton, publicity manager for The Royal Conservatory, could not comment on Tiffanys ranking across Canada as the music school wants to minimize competition between teachers and students. However, he did comment on her grade saying, I wouldnt be surprised if it was one of the highest marks in the country. Its very, very high.
Mr. Embleton went on to say that he didnt have all the marks on hand from the rest of the provinces, but that it would be very difficult to score higher than Tiffanys mark on the examination.
Were incredibly proud of Tiffany, and we think its an amazing achievement and we hope she continues her studies, Mr. Embleton said.
Two local non-profits committed to supporting music in the valley the Windermere Valley Musicians Who Care and the Steamboat Mountain Music Festival Society have each awarded Tiffany a $350 scholarship in honour of her achievement.
We thought this was worthy of a bursary to say we recognize her achievement and support her ongoing music education, said Musicians Who Care member Mike Smith.
Ms. Dubois is also excited to support Tiffany, having offered to pay for her Grade 2 Royal Conservatory exam fee and books for the upcoming year.
The Royal Conservatory, or the Royal Conservatory of Music, is one of the largest and most respected music schools in Canada, providing a standard of excellence for music students across the country through its curriculum and assessments. In the last decade, more than 250,000 B.C. students have taken Royal Conservatory exams, ranking British Columbia as the second highest province in terms of students taking the exams.
The Royal Conservatory finds that marks tend to be higher in the range of low to high 90s in the earlier exams, which are Grades 1 through 6, and then peak again at Grade 8. Their programs run in hopes to develop potential through leadership through music and the arts.
Tiffany isnt sure what she wants to do with music, but with her amount of talent and dedication, her musical future is sure to be bright.
Caitlin Fuller is a David Thompson Secondary School student reporter working for The Pioneer one day a week as part of her work experience class curriculum.